Allied Warships

HNMS Evertsen (EV)

Destroyer of the Admiralen class

NavyThe Royal Dutch Navy
ModFirst group 
Built byBurgerhout Scheepswerf en Machinefabriek (Rotterdam, Holland) 
Laid down5 Aug 1925 
Launched26 Sep 1926 
Commissioned12 Apr 1928 
Lost1 Mar 1942 

The ship was at Batavia on 28 February 1942 and was ordered to escape to Colombo via Sunda Strait. However Evertsen (Lt.Cdr. Walburg Marius de Vries) was intercepted by the Japanese destroyers Murakumo and Shirakumo (both offsite links). Several hits caused a large fire, after which the commanding officer saw no other option than to beach his ship on the reef at Seboekoe Besar. All together 57 died during the sinking and internment and 111 were captured and repatriated though the Commanding officer Vries De dies whilst a Prisoner of war on the 25/03/1942.

See also this website (offsite link).


Commands listed for HNMS Evertsen (EV)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1luitenant ter zee 1e klasse (Lt.Cdr.) Lambert Johan Goslings, RNN18 Oct 193926 Mar 1940
2luitenant ter zee 1e klasse (Lt.Cdr.) Antonie Kroese, RNN26 Mar 194030 Sep 1940

3luitenant ter zee 1e klasse (Lt.Cdr.) Johannes Stephanus Bax, RNN3 May 19411 Dec 1941
4luitenant ter zee 1e klasse (Lt.Cdr.) Walburg Marius de Vries, RNN1 Dec 19411 Mar 1942

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Notable events involving Evertsen include:

25 May 1940
HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.W. Termijtelen, RNN) conducted exercises in Strait Madoera with the destroyers HrMs Witte de With (?) and HrMs Evertsen (Lt.Cdr. A. Kroese, RNN). (1)

10 Jan 1942

Convoys MS 2 and MS 2A.

Convoy MS 2 departed Sydney on 10 January 1942.

This convoy was made up of only one ship, the troopship Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Sydney convoy MS 2 was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN).

Convoy MS 2 arrived at Fremantle on 15 January and departed again in the same composition on the 16th.

On 19 January 1942, while approaching the Sunda Strait the convoy was joined by a local escort made up of the light cruisers HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), HrMs Java (Capt. P.B.M van Straelen, RNN) and the destroyers HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN) and HMS Thanet ( Cdr.(Retd.) B.S. Davies, RN) which came from Batavia.

On 20 January 1942, the destroyer HrMs Van Nes (Lt.Cdr. C.A. Lagaay, RNN) joined. The convoy arrived at Ratai Bay, Sumatra later the same day.

On arrival at Lampung Bay, HrMs Java and HMS Thanet parted company to proceed to Batavia to fuel on completion of which they returned to Ratai Bay. HMAS Canberra and HMS Express fuelled at Ratai Bay.

At Lampung Bay the troops from the Aquitania were put onto smaller ships which were to take them to Singapore as Convoy MS 2A.

These were the merchant vessels; Both (Dutch, 2601 GRT, built 1931), Reael (Dutch, 2561 GRT, built 1931), Reijnst (Dutch, 2462 GRT, built 1928), Sloet van Beele (Dutch, 2977 GRT, built 1914), Taishan (British, 3174 GRT, built 1925), Van der Lijn (Dutch, 2464 GRT, built 1928) and Van Swoll (Dutch, 2147 GRT, built 1930).

To provide cover for the operation of putting the troops on board the smaller ships the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra, light cruisers HMS Dragon, destroyers HMS Express, HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN), USS Barker (Lt.Cdr. L.G. McGlone, USN), USS Stewart (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Smith, USN), HrMs Evertsen (Lt.Cdr. W.M. de Vries, RNN), HrMs Van Nes, sloops HMIS Jumna (Cdr. W.R. Shewring, RIN), HrMs Soemba (Cdr. P.J.G. Huijer, RNN) and the patrol vessel USS Isabel (Lt. J.W. Payne, Jr., USN) were patrolling / present in the Bay.

Around 1045GH, convoy MS 2A departed Ratai Bay for Singapore. It was escorted by HMAS Canberra, HMAS Vampire and HMIS Jumna.

Around 1830GH/21, HrMs Java and HMS Thanet joined from Batavia.

At 1000GH/23, after the convoy had passed the Banka Strait HMAS Canberra parted company leaving HrMs Java in command of the escort. HMAS Canberra then proceeded to Batavia where she arrived the following day.

The convoy arrived at Singapore late in the morning of the 24th. (2)

28 Feb 1942

Operations by the Western Striking Force from 28 February 1942 to 5 March 1942.

The initial object of the operations was to intercept and engage a reported Japanese invasion force.

Around 0045GH(-7.5)/28, the Western Striking Force, made up of the made up of the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Danae (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN), HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Tenedos (Lt. R. Dyer, RN) and HrMs Evertsen (Lt.Cdr. W.M. de Vries, RNN) departed Tandjong Priok (Batavia), in accordance with the Commodore Commanding China Force's signal timed 1021Z/27. An enemy landing force made up of thirty transports escorted by four cruisers and three destroyers had been reported at 1022GH/27 in position 04°20'S, 106°28'E. The Western Task Force had been unable so sail earlier due to delays in fuelling caused by Japanese air attacks. The destroyer HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H. Lambton, RN) which had departed earlier for Tjilatjap had been recalled and joined the Western Task Force three miles south of Edam Island.

Capt. Howden, the Senior Officer, decided to proceed direct to the vicinity of the northern entrance to the Sunda Strait and then to sweep northward to engage the enemy which he thought to be en-route to Bantam Bay, the most likely place to land.

The Western Task Force arrived in position 05°48'S, 105°56'E at 0420GH/28. Course was then altered to the northward. Except for intermittent rain squalls the visibility was good. As no enemy had been sighted by 0500GH/28, course was altered to the southward. The passage of Sunda Strait was made at the Force's maximum speed of 24 knots. HrMs Evertsen had been lost out of sight in the darkness. She had not been seen after around 0400GH/28.

At 0650GH/28, when in position 06°04'S, 105°48'E, HMS Scout dropped astern to rescue a men she sighted on a raft. A lot of wreckage was sighted during the passage of the Sunda Straits.

In order to conserve fuel, speed was reduced to 22 knots at 0850GH/28, to 19 knots at 1000GH/28 and 18 knots at 1600GH/28.

At 2340GH/28, a signal was received from HMAS Perth that she had sighted a destroyer, later amended to being a cruiser.

At 2359GH/28, when in position 04°30'S, 101°05'E, the destroyers were detached to proceed ahead to fuel at Padang. The cruisers reduced speed to 15 knots. The destroyers were sent ahead in order to reduce the time the cruisers had to wait for the destroyers to rejoin. During the passage of the Seaflower Channel [between Siberut and Sipura island] the cruisers inceased speed again.

The cruisers arrived in position 260° Pandan Light 10 miles at 1740GH/1 and zigzagged between that position and Nyamuk Light. It had been hoped that the destroyers would be able to leave harbour around 1800 hours but this did not materialise. HMS Tenedos was seen passing Pandan Island at 2120GH/1 and at 2140GH/1 she secured alongside HMAS Hobart to transfer 512 evacuees. She reported that HMS Scout had previously left harbour with another load of evacuees but that she had to return due to contaminated oil fuel tanks.

In view of the long delay which would be entained in waiting for HMS Scout, Capt. Howden decided to proceed ahead with HMS Tenedos via Siberut Strait [to the north of Siberut Island] and then pass through position 00.32'S, 97.10'E at 15 knots towards the position where the RFA tanker Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917) should be. HMS Dragon, HMS Danae and HMS Scout were then to overtake. HMAS Hobart and HMS Tenedos therefore parted company with HMS Dragon and HMS Danae at 2207GH/1 by which time the evacuees had been transferred. HMS Dragon, HMS Danae and HMS Scout were able to proceed at 0530GH/2. They were ordered to rejoin during daylight on 3 March.

At 0150G/3, the Commander-in-Chief Eastern Fleet's signal 1635Z/2 was received by HMAS Hobart but it could not be decyphered owing to area tables for the East Indies Station not being held. Capt. Howden reduced speed to 8 knots to allow HMS Dragon, HMS Danae and HMS Scout to join around dawn and all ships were in company at 0751G/3.

HMS Dragon had been able to decypher the signal and it stated that auxiliary patrol ship HMS Kedah (Cdr.(Retd.) J.L. Sinclair, DSO, RD, RNR) was in trouble and that her speed had been reduced to three knots. Her position was 02°10'S, 90°40'E. HMS Dragon was then detached after transferring her 136 evacuees to HMAS Hobart at 1115G/3. She was to complete with fuel from the Appleleaf who was estimated to be 40 to 50 miles ahead and then to proceed to the assistance of HMS Kedah. HMS Danae and the destroyers were ordered to proceed ahead, made contact with the Appleleaf to inform her of the oil requirements of HMS Dragon.

A 1033FG/4, the Commander-in-Chief Eastern Fleet's signal 0305Z/4 was received instructing Capt. Howden to proceed with all his ships to Colombo if sufficient fuel remained. The Force therefore altered course for Colombo at 1100FG/4 when in position 05°32'N, 86°45'E.

At 1000F/5, when in position 05°47'N, 79°56'E, HMAS Hobart parted company with HMS Danae, HMS Scout and HMS Tenedos, to proceed ahead at 28 knots so as to arrive 2 hours and 20 minutes earlier then the other ships so as to avoid congestion in the harbour. En-route HMAS Hobart ran a full power trial for 40 minutes to see if any defects might have developed due to the recent near misses from bombing. The results of the trial very highly satisfactory.

HMAS Hobart arrived at Colombo at 1333F/5.

HMS Danae, HMS Scout and HMS Tenedos arrived at Colombo around 1730F/5.

Around 1030F/7, HMS Dragon arrived with HMS Kedah in tow. She had fuelled from the Appleleaf during the afternoon of the 3rd and then proceeded towards the reported position of HMS Kedah which she sighted at 0229G/5 and had her in tow around 0730G/5.


28 Feb 1942
Around 1400GH/28, the heavy cruiser USS Houston (Capt. A.H. Rooks, USN) and light cruiser HMAS Perth (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO and Bar, RAN) arrived at Batavia following the Battle of the Java Sea. At Batavia both ships commenced fuelling. Ammunitioning was not possible.

They departed around 1900GH/28 to proceed through the Sunda Strait to Tjilatjap on the south coast of Java. The Dutch destroyer HrMs Evertsen (Lt.Cdr. W.M. de Vries, RNN) was to have sailed with them but was delayed and did not join. She later attempted to pass the Sunda Strait on her own but was also sunk by the Japanese. (4)

28 Feb 1942

Battle of the Sunda Strait.

Around 1900GH/28, the heavy cruiser USS Houston (Capt. A.H. Rooks, USN) and light cruiser HMAS Perth (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO and Bar, RAN) departed Batavia to proceed through the Sunda Strait to Tjilatjap on the south coast of Java. The Dutch destroyer HrMs Evertsen (Lt.Cdr. W.M. de Vries, RNN) was to have sailed with them but was delayed and did not join. She later attempted to pass the Sunda Strait on her own.

At 2306GH/28, a vessel was sighted by HMAS Perth, which was leading, close to St. Nicolas Point. This turned out to be the Japanese destroyer Harukaze. The destroyer, which was first though that it might have been an Australian minesweeper/corvette, was then challenged but she gave a wrong reply with a lamp in the wrong color. Fire was then opened. Unbeknown to the Allied cruisers they had already been spotted almost an hour earlier by the Japanese destroyer Fubuki which had been patrolling off Banten Bay with the above mentioned Harukaze and also the Hatakaze.

Shortly after opening fire other ships were seen approaching from the north. These were the Japanese cover force for the landings, the Western Support Force made up of the heavy cruisers Mogami, Mikuma and the destroyer Shikinami and the remainder of the Third Escort Force (the three above mentioned destroyers also belonged to this Force) made up of the light cruiser Natori and the destroyers Hatsuyuki, Murakumo, Shirakumo, Shirayuki and Asakaze.

The Allied cruiser tried to break through to the transports but they never succeeded in doing so. Around 2350GH/28, Capt. Waller was informed that his ship, HMAS Perth was almost out of ammunition so he decided to break off the action and try to make a run for it southwards through the Sunda Strait.

It was however not to be, as the Japanese had by now launched a great number of their feared Long Lance torpedoes. Shortly after changing course for their dash down the Sunda Strait, HMAS Perth was hit be a torpedo on the starboard side followed not long afterwards by a second torpedo a little further forward than the first torpedo hit. The crew was then ordered to abandon ship. Between five to ten minutes later a third torpedo hit the ship well aft on the starboard side followed shortly afterwards by a torpedo hit on the port side. HMAS Perth sank around 0025GH/1 in position 05°51'42"S, 106°07'52"E. The torpedoes which sank HMAS Perth appear to have been fired by Harukaze, Hatakaze and Murakumo.

USS Houston was still fighting but heavily on fire. She too was hit by a torpedo shortly after midnight. Not long afterwards she was hit by three more torpedoes. Capt. Rooks was killed by the explosion of a shell around 0030GH/1 and within 15 minutes USS Houston sank in positon 05°48'45"S, 106°07'55"E.

On board HMAS Perth there had been 681 officers, men and passengers, 353 of these did not survive the sinking. There were 328 survivors. After the war 218 of them were repatriated the remainded had not survived Japanese captivity. Capt. Waller was last seen on the bridge refusing to abandon ship himself having decided to go down with her instead. [Sources vary on the number of deaths and survivors, the ones we have used are from an Australian government website.]

On board USS Houston had been 1061 men, of which 368 survived. 77 of these later died in captivity. [sources on these numbers vary too.]

The Dutch destroyer HrMs Evertsen, which had been unable to sail with the cruisers eventually departed Batavia later that evening saw the battle unfolding. She tried to creep round to the Sumatra side of the Sunda Strait but was eventually spotted by the Japanese destroyers Murakumo and Shiryakumo. She was hit and a fire erupted. HrMs Evertsen was then run aground on Sebuku Besar (Sebuku Island) and then abandoned by her crew. The fire eventually reached the after magazine and the stern was blown off when the magazine detonated.

During the battle the Japanese heavy cruiser Mogami's Long Lance torpedoes ended up among the transports in Banten Bay. As a result the minesweeper W-2, Navy landing craft depot ship Shinshu Maru and the army transports Horei Maru and Sakura Maru were sunk. The army transport Tatsuno Maru grounded when avoiding the torpedoes.

[Note: all links to Japanese ships are offsite links.]

Media links

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for January 1942 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Vampire for January 1942
  3. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for February/March 1942
  4. Report of proceedings of HMAS Perth for February 1942

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